Archive for August 10th, 2011

Miyaichi joins our stable of flyers

333 comments August 10th, 2011

After completing the signing of Alex Chamberlain on Monday, yesterday Arsenal added another flying winger to their first team-squad, with the news Ryo Miyaichi has been granted a work permit for the forthcoming season.

Arsene Wenger travelled to an FA panel meeting at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday to give evidence as to why Ryo ought to be granted an “exceptional talent” visa.  Fortunately, the committee concurred, and Ryo will now be part of the first team squad for 2011/12.

It’s the culmination of a meteoric rise for a player who, a matter of months ago, was playing Japanese schoolboy football.  Indeed, a year ago a potential move to Arsenal looked to have been scuppered when he broke his leg and was out for five months injured.

Now, one impressive loan spell at Feyenoord later, Miyaichi is joining the Premier League.  It’s comic-book stuff. Manga, even.  Arsene said:

“We are absolutely delighted that Ryo has been granted a work permit. This is almost like a new signing for us, as we weren’t completely sure we would be given the authorisation. Ryo has worked extremely hard in pre-season and performed very well during the matches in Asia, Germany and Portugal.

Ryo has natural technical ability. He has good balance and phenomenal pace, and his passing and crossing is consistently of a high quality. He is a very exciting player.”

He’s also hard-working, and genuinely two-footed, although he normally operates from the left-hand side.  I don’t expect him to be starting league games any time soon, but he provides us with an option, and will certainly get games in the domestic cups.  His permit didn’t arrive in time for him to eligible for the Champions League qualifier, the squad for which has been announced but is not really newsworthy in for any reason other than the slightly surprising omission of Henri Lansbury.

As Goonerholic has pointed out, the arrival of Gervinho, Chamberlain and Miyaichi this summer means we have some real speed out on the flanks to add to last season’s singular threat of Theo Walcott.  Clearly Arsene has identified this as a problem last season, and is attempting to give our approach plays a few revs with some sprightly sprinters.

It also means we now have a collection of wide attackers that includes the aforementioned quartet, Andrey Arshavin, Tomas Rosicky, Samir Nasri and Carlos Vela.  Eight in to two just doesn’t go, so it seems there will be at least one departure.

Real Sociedad’s Director of Football has confirmed their interest in signing Carlos Vela, and has said that Arsenal would prefer a loan move to a permanent deal.  Meanwhile, doubts persist over the future of Samir Nasri.  At yesterday’s press conference for the French team, Laurent Blanc said:

“I just know that he is in talks with his club. Not to extend his contract because he said he would not, but to change clubs.”

Nasri is expected to start for France tonight, but I’d be very surprised if Arsene chooses to use him against Newcastle.

Meanwhile, in an interview with French tv show Foot & Co, Marouane Chamakh sounded just as skeptical about the future of Nasri’s partner-in-disruption, Cesc Fabregas:

“I think both of them are likely leaving the club. It’s a difficult situation for the manager.

I don’t think it’s a matter of money for Fabregas or Samir, I think he (Wenger) is looking for their successors and he hasn’t found them. I think before letting them go he wants to find the players to replace them. That’s my opinion about the situation. The problem is the season starts this weekend, and it’s even more difficult for us.”

Today's cover of 'Sport'

Today, Catalan paper Sport lead with the story that the end of a Cesc saga is a “matter of hours” away (see right).

It’s just a few days until the big kick-off, and it’s mad to think that between now and the end of the August, a list of players including Manuel Almunia, Emmanuel Eboue, Fabregas, Nasri, Vela and Bendtner could all depart.  Assuming several of those do, it’s impossible not to imagine replacements arriving.

It’s also impossible to write any kind of season preview until those issues are resolved.

It looks like we’ll have to take this month on game-by-game basis, starting on Saturday. I can’t wait.

ps. if you missed it yesterday, listen to ‘Stan’ – Kroenke vs. Wenger, the Arsenal remix.

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